178: Effect of omega-3 supplementation on plasma fatty acid levels


      Daily omega-3 fatty acid (FA) supplementation, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA,1200 mgs) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 800 mgs), offered no protection from recurrent preterm delivery in a randomized placebo-controlled trial of high risk women receiving weekly 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate. Increased levels of EPA and DHA can reduce the production of the potent 2-series prostaglandins derived from arachidonic acid (AA). We conducted this analysis to determine if the supplement altered plasma levels of EPA, DHA or AA.

      Study Design

      Blood was collected at enrollment (16-21 weeks' gestation) and again at 25-28 weeks' gestation. Plasma was separated, snap frozen and stored at - 70 degrees at a central laboratory until FA determination by gas chromatography. Results were reported as percent of total FA. Wilcoxon test was used to compare the mean change (level at 25-28 weeks minus level at enrollment) in FA between the omega-3 and placebo groups.


      Of 852 primary study participants, 512 (261 in the omega-3 group and 251 in the placebo group) had results of FA analysis from both enrollment and 25-28 weeks. The mean change in level of EPA, DHA and AA were significantly different between the omega-3 and placebo groups. (Figure)
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Mean change in plasma levels as % total FA


      Omega-3 supplementation raised EPA and DHA and lowered AA levels in pregnancy.